Nike has responded to recent claims that Tom Sachs' studio has an inappropriate work environment. Several of the artist's former employees said that the workplace was "unstable and scary," according to a Curbed investigation that came out on Monday. Former employees quoted in the story said Sachs made a lot of inappropriate comments about sex and how people looked, threw things at people, called a storage room in the basement the "rape room," walked around the studio in just his underwear, and called people "autistic," "retarded," "bitch," and other names. Nike has worked with Sachs for a long time, and in a statement, the company said it is "deeply concerned by the very serious allegations." The company said, "We are in touch with Tom and his studio to learn more about what's going on and how these problems are being fixed."
A former administrative worker quoted in the report said that Sachs once showed up in his underwear to a zoom call with female Nike employees. The company's studio told Curbed that these "weekly virtual fittings" were a "normal part of the design process." One former studio manager told Curbed, "It's almost like he goes out of his way to make people feel bad and then passes it off as if he's a genius. It's like a ruse. So many people know he's mean, but the art world is so small that no one cares." Nike first worked with Sachs in 2012 to make the NikeCraft Mars Yard 1.0 sneakers. Since then, the two have made a number of hot releases together. Most recently, the two companies came out with a General Purpose Shoe with a lower price tag.
Complex said on Wednesday that Nike changed the packaging for its 2017 collaboration with Sachs on the NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 shoe and took the words "work like a slave" off the top of the box before the shoes came out.